After selecting four pitchers and a power-hitting outfielder with their first five selections in the First-Year Player Draft, the Braves altered direction late Friday afternoon when they took Florida Southern College's athletic outfielder Keith Curcio with their sixth-round selection.
Curcio hit .314 with an .887 OPS, and he was successful with 23 of the 24 stolen base attempts he recorded in 54 games with the NCAA Division II school. The 22-year-old prospect struck out just 17 times in 210 at-bats and made a smooth transition from third base to center field.
Braves scout Buddy Hernandez was credited for following Curcio, who was named a semifinalist for the Josh Willingham Award, which goes to the NCAA Division II's top player. He was also named to the Rawlings/ABCA NCAA Division II Gold Glove team.
The Braves took Braxton Davidson with their first selection and then used each of their next four picks on pitchers -- Garrett Fulenchuk, Max Povse, Chad Sobotka and Chris Diaz. Curcio was the fourth consecutive collegiate product taken by Atlanta.
"We're going to try to get the best player or best pitcher that is available for us," Braves director of scouting Tony DeMacio said. "We're drafting for need."
Given that none of their outfielders rank among their top 10 prospects according to MLB.com, the Braves certainly have a need to strengthen the organization's outfield depth.
The Draft concludes on Saturday, with exclusive coverage of Rounds 11-40 beginning on MLB.com at 1 p.m. ET.
Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.